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Shellebrate World Turtle Day May 23rd

Shellebrate World Turtle Day May 23rd

They move slow, they don’t fetch, and they’re not cuddly—but turtles can make fascinating companions! World Turtle Day was established by American Tortoise Rescue 17 years ago to create awareness about these wonderful creatures and the need for adoption of homeless pet turtles.

There are over 270 different varieties of turtles and tortoises, and many make great pets for beginners. If you’re considering adopting a turtle, here’s a quick turt-orial: Continue Reading

Canine Influenza


What is canine influenza?

Canine influenza virus (CIV) is primarily the result of two influenza strains: H3N8 from an equine origin and H3N2 from an avian origin. Both of these strains were previously known to infect species other than dogs, but are now able to infect and spread among canines. There is no “season” for the canine influenza virus, and infections may occur year-round.

What are the symptoms of canine influenza?

It takes about two to four days (incubation period) for clinical signs to develop after contact with the virus. Infected dogs are most contagious during this period before symptoms occur, making rapid transmission likely, and they continue to spread the virus for up to 20 days.

Symptoms of canine influenza include coughing, sneezing, low-grade fever, lethargy, and eye or nasal discharge. Pneumonia and labored breathing may also develop in serious cases. Signs of canine influenza are similar to symptoms of kennel cough but more severe.

How can I differentiate between canine influenza and kennel cough, and when should I take my dog to the veterinarian?

Many cases of canine influenza may be mistaken as a kennel cough or other infections in the canine infectious respiratory disease (CIRD) complex. It is difficult to distinguish CIV from kennel cough and CIRD, therefore dogs with clinical symptoms should be seen by a veterinarian.

How is canine flu spread?

Canine influenza is spread through sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, and contaminated objects like bowls, leashes, collars, clothing, skin, and kennel walls and floors. The disease can survive on skin and hands for 12 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on surfaces for up to 48 hours.

Older dogs and ones with heart and respiratory conditions are at particular risk for CIV. Dogs with short, flat faces such as Boston Terriers, Boxers, Pekingese, Pugs, and Shih Tzus are also at a higher risk.

Since CIV is a new disease for dogs, they are all susceptible to infection. If your dog is exposed to the virus, there is a high chance they will become infected and develop clinical signs. Although most infected dogs will only develop a mild form of canine influenza and recover without complications, some dogs may develop severe, life-threatening pneumonia.

Which dogs should get the vaccine, and what are the benefits and risks?

The decision to vaccinate is based on each individual’s risk and lifestyle. Dogs who travel a lot, are kenneled, or interact frequently with other dogs should seriously be considered for vaccination against canine influenza. At-risk breeds and dogs with respiratory or heart conditions should also be considered.

To date, there have been no reported issues with the CIV vaccination.

It’s important to note that the vaccine cannot completely prevent the disease. However, it may reduce the severity and duration of clinical signs associated with infection, which is especially important for at-risk dogs and to help prevent the spread of outbreaks.

Talk to your veterinarian to determine if vaccinating against canine influenza is right for your dog.

What is the treatment for canine influenza?

As with nearly all viral infections, treatment for canine influenza is largely supportive. Your pet must be housed in a dry, warm area free from other dogs, kept well-hydrated, and fed a high-quality diet during illness. Dogs exposed to the virus should be isolated for four weeks to prevent further spread.

Dogs that develop pneumonia may require hospitalization, intravenous fluids and medications, and potent broad-spectrum antibiotics. Most dogs fully recover within two to three weeks.

It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment.

What can I do to prevent my infected dog from spreading canine influenza?

Virtually 100 percent of dogs exposed to CIV will become infected. Because of this, it’s important that owners of infected canines isolate them from other dogs and keep them away from trips to the groomers and parks and prevent them from contacting other dogs during walks and in kennels.

After contact with infected dogs, you must thoroughly clean hands, clothing, equipment, and floors with soap and water.

Can humans get the flu from a dog with canine influenza?

CIV poses no threat to humans and is being closely monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their partners. If your dog does contract CIV, you can feel comfortable giving it plenty of care and your veterinarian’s recommended treatments without worry of being infected yourself.

New Featured Artist at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital

Our lobby and exam rooms are now filled with the beautiful pet photography of Kolu Westcott. She is a talented local artist, who focuses on beautiful portraits of beloved pets. Her work captures the spirit of each of her subjects. Her photos can be traditionally matted and framed or she can customize her work on metal or greeting cards to suit your preference.

20% of her profits from sales related to NWNVH, whether purchased in our hospital or from custom shoots for our clients, will go to one of her favorite charities (ours too!) Greyhound Pets of America Northwest. GPA NW is an amazing organization that fosters and adopts Greyhounds who have been rescued from various racetracks. Their dogs make fantastic pets and the care of the dogs by GPA NW is the absolute best. Please take a moment during your next visit or come by whenever we are open to experience her amazing talent.

Welcoming Dr. Sarah McCormack

I grew up traveling around the world with my parents and met a lot of weird and wonderful animals along the way. That experience sparked my interest in the way bodies work and I studied neuroscience in undergrad at Wesleyan in Connecticut and then attended Tufts Vet School. I practiced in the Boston area for 7 years and just moved to Portland with my husband and young son. I love all things furry, scaly and even slimy! Sadly, though, my husband is allergic to everything under the sun and we can’t have pets at home – I have to get my furry snuggles at work! I am especially interested in surgery, exotic animal medicine, and feline medicine. I love exploring Portland with my family, reading, dancing, and arts and crafts. I look forward to meeting you and your companions!

Holiday Food and Clothing Drive for Friendly House Senior Program

November 25, 2016 through January 7, 2017

We are kicking off our annual food and clothing drive to support Friendly House Senior Services on November 25th. Your donations, combined with our matching amounts, allow local senior citizens to keep and care for their pets, while living on extremely limited budgets. Often these pets are the only family these seniors have and thanks to your generosity in the past, we have been able to supply the pet food portion of Friendly House Senior Services for THE ENTIRE YEAR.

We are starting earlier and will continue into the New Year in hopes of gathering any extra items left over from the holidays. We will be collecting the following items in the drop bins in our lobby now through January 7:

  • Human food – non-perishable
  • Pet food – dry and canned cat and dog food
  • Blankets
  • Socks
  • Jackets
  • Cash – We will collect cash donations to purchase the above items to be donated

For every pound of human or pet food, or item of clothing donated NWNVH will donated 1lb of high quality pet food AND all cash donations brought to NWNVH for Friendly House seniors will be matched dollar for dollar. Let’s make this drive the best one yet!

If you have any questions or need help getting your items to NWNVH please call Mary Tustin at our hospital 503-227-6047. She’ll be happy to assist you.

Strut Your Mutt – Portland

Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital is once again participating in Strut Your Mutt, a fundraising event that benefits Best Friends Animal Society!

Strut Your Mutt – Portland
Sellwood Riverfront Park
Saturday, September 10
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join us for a walk with your pup along with plenty of fun and games for you, your dog and your whole family. Activities include agility games, doggie musical chairs and fun raffles and photobooths. Dr. Prull will be there representing our hospital. Learn more about the event and the day’s activities here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Staff Highlight

Tara Jeans, CVT

I grew up in central Missouri. After obtaining a degree in Anthropology, I decided I wanted to work in the veterinary field. Then, in 2003, that desire brought me to Portland, where I obtained a degree from PCC’s Veterinary Technology Program. After working for several hospitals and taking a brief break when my first child was born, I started working as a relief CVT at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital. I instantly knew the staff members at NWNVH were something special. In 2012, after much waiting, a CVT position opened, and I joined the crew permanently! With the arrival of my second child, my hours at the hospital have decreased. But during the time I do spend here, I not only relish in providing the best clinical care to our patients, but also in making them as comfortable as possible.

My husband, Jon, and I share our SW Portland home with our children, Jack and Sadie along with our crazy zoo of animals: 4 dogs (Oz, Bruno, Bowie, and PJ), 4 cats (Newt, Sampson, Fig, and Zuzu), 3 chinchillas (Teddy, Loki, and Wicket), 2 snails (Burpy and Banger), our beta fish (Dynah), and a partridge in a pear tree… In addition to our own animals, we have recently started to foster shelter/rescue dogs. We’ve also successfully fostered a bunny and a feral kitten. I love continuing to contribute to the animal field while mostly staying home with my kids. I enjoy sharing with them some of my biggest passions, rescuing animals and the proper way to interact with them in the midst of different temperaments. I am proud to say they have certainly grown into animal-savvy individuals. My goal for the future is to venture into schools, teaching classes that provide animal and pet education to children. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, playing games, yoga, camping, and exploring the NW with my family and friends.

Caring for Aging Cats

Our cats’ behaviors change as they mature. As the rebellious days of youth fade, wiser, more leisurely companions emerge. Cats become seniors around age 10, and considerable physiological changes often occur. Slower and more relaxed movements replace the boundless energy they had as kittens. Decreased physical activity is to be expected; joint stiffness and reduced dexterity are normal parts of the aging process. Activity patterns may shift dramatically as your pet’s circadian rhythm changes, too, resulting in an altered sleep-wake cycle and more frequent daytime naps.

Elderly cats are prone to decreased cognitive function, meaning they may take longer to complete their daily routines and may become disoriented. A moderate degree of hearing and vision loss is to be expected. Your cat may begin spending more time in different areas of the home, usually areas that are centralized and well lit, as these spaces can make them feel more comfortable and secure.

However, not all behavioral shifts should automatically be attributed to aging. Sudden physical changes or rapidly decreased mental function may be indications of underlying medical conditions.

Twice-annual examinations and annual blood tests are the most effective way to determine if symptoms are the result of a treatable medical cause. If you notice abnormal behavioral changes in your elderly cat, please contact your veterinarian right away to rule out serious health problems. We want to help your pet age with comfortable grace.

Learn more about Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital’s senior pet care here.

If you have any more questions or concerns regarding your senior pet, please schedule an appointment at Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital by calling (503) 427-9148.

In The Neighborhood

On June 19, Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital participated in our first-ever LGBT Pride event! After waiting 2.5 hours in the heat, Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital staff members, dogs and friends and family members represented Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital as the only veterinary clinic taking part in this year’s Portland Pride Parade. We marched proudly, outfitted with rainbow gear, through the streets of downtown Portland. Several parade-goers yelled, “Hey! That’s my vet clinic!” We handed out stuffed animals to kids, nearly 1,200 dog biscuits and 400 free exam vouchers. We received overwhelming support from the crowd in the form of cheers, tears, applause and hugs.

To further show our support, we also sold our “All Genders, All Identities, Most Species.” t-shirts in the week leading up to the parade. All proceeds from t-shirt sales are being donated to SAGE Metro Portland at Friendly House. SAGE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to education, advocacy, outreach and resource development for older and elderly LGBT individuals.

Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital is proud to be involved with and recognized as a supporter of the LGBT community. As a local business and as individuals, we are happy to promote equality and acceptance of all persons, regardless of their varying identities.

This was the first but certainly not the last year Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital will be involved in Portland’s Pride festivities. We are incredibly thankful to everyone who made our presence in the parade possible by donating their time and energy. We are looking forward to going all out for next year’s parade!

Recent Community Involvement

St. Mary’s Academy 1/2 day with a vet for their auction
Supported Friendly House’s annual auction by purchasing half a table.

Staff Highlight

Holly, Technician Supervisor

I am originally from Bellingham, WA, which is where I started my veterinary career in an assistant program many years ago. I then set out on a “walk about” from coast to coast and eventually circled back to the Pacific Northwest in 2000. I graduated from Portland Community College with a degree in veterinary technology in 2003. I worked in a few hospitals until I found Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital in 2007 and haven’t looked back. Almost nine years later, I am the technician supervisor as well as an active certified veterinary technician.

I thought about making the switch to human medicine briefly, and even started schooling for it, but I cannot deny that my passion is in helping to improve the lives of animals. I enjoy mentoring aspiring technicians, and I coordinate Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital’s participation in veterinary technician externships with both local and nationwide veterinary technology programs.

I try to stay involved in community programs such as the PAW (Portland Animal Welfare) Team and the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, volunteering as often as I can for these important causes.

I currently live with my sweetheart and our rescue Pitbull named Ping. I love watching him slowly grow more confident and realize that the world is not such a scary place! We also share our home with two kitties, Iggy (the pest) and Brutus (the fat panther).